World Air Quality Report 2018: 7 of the top 10 most polluted cities in the world are in India
The only non-Indian city in the top five list of most polluted cities is Faisalabad, Pakistan. Delhi was ranked as the most polluted capital in the world, with Dhaka at second and Kabul at third position.
As per the World Air Quality Report 2018 released by IQAir AirVisual and Greenpeace on March 5, 2019, seven of the top 10 most polluted cities in the world are in India.
India’s Gurugram led the list of most polluted cities in the world in 2018, followed by Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Noida, and Bhiwadi in the top six worst-affected cities.
Top 10 World’s Most Polluted Cities
Of the 10 cities with highest pollution, seven are in India, while one is in China and two are in Pakistan.
Among the Indian cities are Gurgaon, Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Bhiwadi, Noida, Patna and Lucknow. The other three are Hotan in China and Lahore and Faislabad in Pakistan.
Delhi was ranked at number 11 on the pollution chart.
The main objective behind the report was to measure the presence of fine particulate matter known as Particulate Matter (PM) 2.5, which has been recorded in real-time in 2018.
The report, based on a study of 3000 cities, said that 64 percent of the cities exceeded the World Health Organisation's annual exposure guideline for PM 2.5. In South Asia itself, 99 percent of the cities exceeded the WHO's safe standard exposure of 10 micrograms/cubic metre annually.
Exposure to PM 2.5 pollution increases the risk of lung cancer, stroke, heart attack and respiratory diseases, including asthma symptoms among all age groups.
Key takeaways from the World Air Quality Report 2018
• Among the top 30 most polluted cities, India makes up for 22 with five in China, two in Pakistan and one in Bangladesh.
• The only non-Indian city in the top five list is Faisalabad, Pakistan.
• Delhi was ranked as the most polluted capital in the world, with Dhaka at second and Kabul at third position.
• China made a remarkable improvement since 2013 as the country's pollution levels have gone down by 40 percent. In 2013, Beijing topped the pollution charts. Beijing ranks now as the 122nd most polluted city in the world in 2018.
• In South Asia, out of 20 most polluted cities in the world, 18 are in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
• In Southeast Asia, Jakarta and Hanoi are the most polluted cities.
• In US and Canada, historic wildfires had a dramatic impact on air quality in August and November 2018, with 5 out of 10 most polluted cities in the world during August 2018 found in North America.
• Massive populations of the continental Africa and South America do not have adequate air quality measuring data.